A decline in trust will effect your brand

Consumer trust is an important ingredient to building brand equity and business growth, so it is alarming that Forrester Research is reporting its decline across all industries and 69% of CEOs confirming it as one of their biggest issues.

A decline in consumer trust can result in reduced consumer spend, diminished customer loyalty and referral, and ultimately effect brand equity and product pricing.

In the past, trust was earned and lasted a lifetime.  However, trust is now earned and lost with every experience the consumer has with a brand.  And these experiences are amplified through review websites, social media and word of mouth, with 60% of consumers identifying these mediums as the most trusted sources of information on products and services.

Learning to listen to your customers and demonstrating that you understand their needs is core to building trust. Consumers define themselves by the brands they use.  As such, it is important they feel part of your business, build an emotional connection with your brand, and feel that it reflects their values.

The key drivers that deliver trust in your brand, as reported by Forrester Research, are:

  • Transparency
  • Integrity
  • Competence

Transparency is about respecting consumers’ data and privacy and not overloading the them with back covering disclaimers full of jargon and acronyms. And keep it simple and make it easy.

Integrity is about doing the right thing and keeping your promise, even when no else is looking.  Engaging consumers in your business,  seeking feedback and acting on it, will build trust. When choosing a cause include your customers in the decision and develop a model that engages them every time they transact with your brand so they can feel connected and part of your journey.

While competency, on the surface, is seen as an efficient customer journey, it is important to look deep into the organisation at all aspects of the business and re-evaluate any processes or procedures that do not add value to the customer.

The decline of trust is damaging brands and most likely impacting profit.  While it is important to develop, understand and measure your key drivers of trust for your brand, what will bring it all together is effective two way communication and engagement with your customers.

Now is the time to act to protect and increase consumer trust in your brand to help your business be the best it can be.